Dec 16, 2015

Anadama Bread with Sesame, Flax, and Poppy Seeds | Sweet Corny Bread

Anadama Bread with Sesame, Flax, and Poppy Seeds | Sweet Corny Bread

The first time I made Anadama Bread was five years ago. This was when I first started baking bread and was baking my way through Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice. Since then, I've made a lot of bread. In fact, my friend Sally of Bewitching Kitchen counted the number of bread recipes I have on my index and came up with 247 (and growing). Yikes!!! That's a lot of loaves between my first Anadama Bread and this one.

Anadama Bread with Sesame, Flax, and Poppy Seeds | Sweet Corny Bread

I was not all that happy with my first attempt at Anadama bread. The bread didn't rise that well and the molasses flavor was too strong. So.... when Pat of Feeding My Enthusiasms, the Bread Baking Babes' Kitchen of the Month, proposed this loaf, I did a little happy dance. Time for a little redemption and a trip down memory lane.

I can't believe I started this bread baking hobby five years ago! What a difference a little practice makes.

Bread geek talk alert..... some things I've learned:
  1. When the recipe says "let rise for for about an hour," check it at 30 minutes. The environmental temperature has a lot to do with when your dough is ready for the oven. 1 hour could also mean 2 hours. 
  2. You can substitute instant yeast for active dry yeast. In fact, it makes thing a lot easier. I usually just substitute the same amount. No need to "bloom" the yeast. 
  3. Use bread flour when you are baking an enriched loaf. An enriched loaf can have lots of eggs, fat, and/or sugar/molasses/honey. I find that bread flour holds up better to the extra ingredients that affect the yeast activity. If you are a little late in shaping the dough or placing the loaf in the oven, you'll still get a decent amount of oven spring, and you're over proofed loaf is less likely to collapse.
  4. Use bread flour when there is decent ratio of gluten free flour such as corn flour. 
  5. If you don't like the flavor of something, substitute. The first time I made Anadama Bread, I thought it was too molasses-y. This time, I used half molasses and half brown rice syrup to dilute the strong flavor. I could have also used honey, agave, maple syrup, corn syrup, or Golden syrup. It's all sugar.

This is a wonderful hearty bread for fall and winter. The cornmeal and seeds add a lot of delicious crunchiness, and it's wonderful with soups and chowders. I love it thinly sliced, toasted, and buttered. I'm so glad I made this bread again! Way better than the first attempt. This is what I love about baking bread. 

Anadama Bread with Sesame, Flax, and Poppy Seeds | Sweet Corny Bread

Any post about Anadama Bread would not be complete without the obligatory explanation of how it got its name. The origins of this bread are in New England, and there is folklore about a fisherman who was angry with his wife, Ana, who kept making him cornmeal mush for his lunch. His reaction to the cornmeal was to exclaim "Ana, damn her!" He supposedly added flour and yeast to his cornmeal mush and baked this bread.

Anadama Bread with Sesame, Flax, and Poppy Seeds | Sweet Corny Bread

Anadama Bread with Sesame, Flax, and Poppy Seeds

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, March 2015


2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 cup warm water, about 90 degrees F
1 cup stone ground medium grind cornmeal
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup brown rice syrup (or honey)
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tsp golden flax seeds
2 tsp brown flax seeds 
2 tsp poppy seeds
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast, water, cornmeal, molasses, rice syrup, seeds, salt, flour, and butter. Stir the mixture with the dough hook by hand a bit. 
  2. Mix on low for about 2 minutes until all of the flour is incorporated. Mix on the second speed for about 10 minutes, until you have a smooth dough. Add flour or water by tablespoon if the dough is too wet or dry. I added about 2 tablespoons of flour. 
  3. Form the dough into a ball and place it into an oiled bowl. Cover and let rise for about an hour, until doubled. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
  5. Line an 8 inch by 4 inch bread pan with parchment paper and spray with spray oil. 
  6. Shape the dough into a loaf, and place it into the loaf pan. Spray the top of the loaf with spray oil, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. 
  7. Let rise for about an hour, until the dough has crested over the top of the pan. The dough should slowly spring back when pressed with your finger. 
  8. Remove the plastic wrap and place the loaf in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, turning halfway through, until the loaf is golden brown and reaches an internal temperature of about 200 degrees F. 
  9. Let the loaf cool in the pan for about 3 to 5 minutes, and then remove it to cool completely on a wire rack. 

The Babes are:

Bake My Day - Karen
blog from OUR kitchen - Elizabeth
Bread Experience - Cathy
All Roads Lead to the Kitchen - Heather
Judy's Gross Eats - Judy
Karen's Kitchen Stories - Karen
My Diverse Kitchen - Aparna
My Kitchen In Half Cups - Tanna
Notitie Van Lien - Lien
Thyme for Cooking - Katie (Bitchin’ Bread Baking Babe Biblioth√©caire)
Life's a Feast - Jamie
Living in the Kitchen with Puppies - Natashya
Ilva Beretta Food Photography - Ilva

Check out the other babes' Anadama Bread:


  1. With all the seeds it really sounds like a lovely bread :)

  2. Two hundred and forty seven! Impressive number of breads baked. So glad you liked this one and it really looks delicious. I like all of your tips. Bet if I had made mine with bread flour that it would have risen more. Good to remember for next time :)

    1. I know! Thank goodness for Sally who counted them all! Thanks for choosing this bread. =)

  3. Ha. One hour could also mean eight hours... or more.

    Your bread looks fabulous! And what a good idea to add a bit of strong flour to account for the zero gluten in the cornmeal. I vaguely thought about doing that when I saw the vital wheat gluten in the freezer beside the flaxseeds but then, well, you know... I forgot.

    Here's hoping that next time, I remember your handy list of tips.

    1. Ha! Thanks Elizabeth =) Been there my friend.

  4. Gorgeous loaf Karen! I love the background and lighting you used in the photos. Rustic, in a beautiful way. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Thanks Cathy! I'm going to try your lighting on my next loaf! Always practicing!

  5. I my kitchen, esp. in winter, an hour rising usually took at least 2.... unless it was really cold and I had the stove burning all day LOL Lovely loaf and I can taste the toast.... dripping with butter, of course.

    1. Of course! I actually heat two cups of water in the microwave, and then leave them in there with the loaf. It makes for a really warm spot for dough rising =)

  6. Those yellow speckles from the cornmeal are so pretty. Your loaf is just perfect, airy and crunchy.

  7. This post brings back such memories. I used to make Anadama bread when I was in college, too many decades ago. I'm delighted to see a recipe for it and such gorgeous photos - makes me want to try it again, this time with your guidance.

    1. Did you really? How cool that you baked bread in college! Thanks Laura!

  8. Oh my Karen yes what a difference practice makes! I shudder to count the loaves I've baked ... probably somehow relates to my waist measurement.

    That crumb is perfection plus!

    1. Thanks Tanna. We sacrifice our waistlines to bread science!


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